Italian Parliament To Vote on Austerity Plan

Posted September 14th, 2011 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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Italy’s lower house of parliament is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s controversial $74 billion austerity plan.

The plan is a mix of spending cuts, tax hikes and changes to retirement plans aimed at achieving a balanced budget by 2013.

The financial plan is expected to pass as Mr. Berlusconi’s party maintains control of the lower house of parliament.

World financial markets remain nervous as the Greek economy appears headed for default. The EU’s economy chief said Wednesday a Greek default or exit from the eurozone would have “dramatic consequences.”

Financial experts fear a domino effect if the Greek economy fails.

Earlier Wednesday, Moody’s rating agency downgraded two French banks and put a third financial institution on notice due to a close connection to the Greek economy.